It was not a vintage performance by any means, but the United States Women's National Team, with goals from Christen Press, Lynn Williams, Lindsey Horan and Carli Lloyd got the job done in a 4-0 victory against Haiti at the BBVA Compass stadium in Houston, Texas on Tuesday.
It was new United States Women's National Team coach Vlatko Andonovski's first official game in charge, after friendly wins Sweden and Costa Rica last year. It was also the team's first qualifying game for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
Williams, who was not part of the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup squad, wasted no time in putting the US one up, playing a pinpoint cross from the right, which was headed in by an unmarked Press in the 2nd minute. There was a bit of controversy 15 minutes later, when Haiti forward Roseline Eloissaint managed to put the ball in the back of the net off a corner thanks to some comical defending by the home side, but was bizarrely ruled offside. Haiti managed to frustrate the United States for the remainder of the first half, with Lloyd's near miss the only clear chance for the United States to double the lead.
Andonovski put Megan Rapinoe in for Press and the move almost immediately paid off as her corner was headed in by Williams to make it 2-0. The home side looked much more composed and comfortable following the 2 goal cushion and also started to attack more, with Haiti goalkeeper Kerly Theus making a fine save off a Rose Lavelle strike.
Horan, who was subbed in for Lavelle made it 3-0 to the United States after she managed to head in yet another Rapinoe ball in the box, 17 minutes from time. Lloyd, who did not have the best of games, made it 4-0 in injury time following a good ball in from Julie Ertz.
Elsewhere, Costa Rica beat Panama 6-1 in their qualifying game, thereby topping Group A on goal difference.
The United States has a chance to go on top of the group if they beat Panama in their 2nd qualifying game in Houston on Friday. Sunday's qualifier against Costa Rica, also in Houston, will lead into the semifinal match set to determine whether the United States will be able to attend the 2020 Olympics. The She Believes Cup, scheduled in March, will be the United States hosting Spain, England, and Japan.